The Power of the Change Curve with John Fisher

By PeopleLeaders | People Leaders Podcast

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For many years now, we’ve been using the Change Curve model, created by John Fisher, a constructivist, psychologist, and coach. It’s a powerful tool for helping people navigate the different stages of organisational change.

We were thrilled to be able to speak with John directly on the podcast and to discuss the application of the Change Curve in leadership programs, the emotional journey individuals go through during change, and strategies for effective change management.

John emphasised the importance of communication, trust, and understanding individual motivations in navigating change.

We shared our experiences with using the Change Curve in our work and discussed the impact of COVID-19 on organisations transitioning to remote work.

NB - John shared some slides on the podcast so if you want some visuals, watch the video version of the podcast below.

Episode Highlights:
  • 00:58 John Fisher's Background and the Change Curve Explained
  • 02:34 Deep Dive into the Change Curve and Its Application
  • 15:27 Utilizing the Change Curve in Leadership and Organizational Change
  • 19:49 Strategies for Managers to Implement Change Effectively
  • 21:50 Interactive Applications of the Change Curve in Workshops
  • 30:52 Addressing Resistance to Change and Enhancing Communication
  • 38:58 Navigating Remote Work Transitions with the Change Model
  • 46:45 Concluding Thoughts and the Power of Trust in Change
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NB: This transcript has been AI generated and may contain some slight errors. Please judge our efforts accordingly 🙂

Jan Terkelsen: [00:00:00] Well, hello Michelle.

Michelle Terkelsen: Hello Jan.

Jan Terkelsen: So we are very excited about this particular podcast. I'm going to introduce you to John Fisher and he is someone that we have used the John Fisher process of change curve multiple times in our leadership programs. And just before the call I was telling John how we actually use it in our Uh, workshops.

So we are really excited. So let me introduce you. So we have John Fisher, uh, Constructivist, Psychologist and Coach. And John has spent the last 25 years working in change management, personal development and coaching. And he has quite a unique blend of experience across a range of Sectors and companies from, from you know, small to medium enterprises to multinationals.

You know, helping people not only develop their skills, but also organizations improve their performance and build really effective, cohesive teams. Now, John has used his experience in counseling people to develop his personal transition through ChangeCurb that has really inspired thousands

of people worldwide.

including us and help them not only make change effective, but also personal and he firmly believes organizations don't change when people do.

So, welcome John.

Michelle Terkelsen: Welcome

John Fisher: Thank you very much for, for having me guys. I'm really looking forward to this.

Jan Terkelsen: Oh so are we, and as I mentioned [00:02:00] your change curve is just so appropriate when we are running our leadership programs because


the expectation is of people who are moving into leadership Uh, environment is for them to change, for them to, create, another level of tools and resources and ways of, operating and mindset.

And not only that, you know, some of these leaders have to lead a structural change in an organization as well, which is, a couple of our clients who are actually going through that as well. So I'm really

excited to dig in.

So John, can you just tell us a little bit about the Change Curve, and I'm going to share my screen.

So for those who are watching, on YouTube and that, you'll be able to see John's Change Curve as we talk, and if not, I really, encourage you to check it out. Okay, John, yeah, so just tell us a little bit about this wonderful Change Curve.

John Fisher: Okay, thank you. Um, so, I suppose the quick one on where it came about you alluded to, um,


moment or two ago, Jan. I was doing counselling


noticed that a lot of people had a really good first session we left on a high with them agreeing to come back and it was alcohol abuse counselling I was doing, um, But then they didn't come back, and the initial sort of thoughts and feelings that it was just me being rubbish, um, after I realized that other people had the same experience, I started thinking about why was that?

What was the cause when they'd gone away so? So sort of engaged, as it were, and I started realizing that it was about the implications on their sense of identity, sense of self, and their feelings [00:04:00] emotionally around the impact of change once the cold light of day,

uh, kicked

in, and I think this is Pertinent again, as you just alluded to, for the leadership training in, um, reminded of a book by Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won't Get You There.

And a lot of people, when they realize the implications and impact, may be negatively affected by the thought of what does that mean for them. And leaders who have got that promotion, sometimes, as it were, struggle. With the concept that they've now got to manage people who were their friends, who they've had a working relationship for years and know each other well and suddenly they're in a hierarchical position of power where they've got to Give bad news over, there's got to be somebody different that goes against their grain.

So, uh, I nicked Elizabeth Kubler Ross concept of the sine wave because it fits in many ways and it's around that initial spurt of something's going to change, this could be really


Um, to then go down to the downward slope is a little bit around you. a realization potentially of the size and scope of the implications of the change and the implications for who we are and what we do as part of that change, taking us down into the the bottom bit around that trough of despair, um, that really is that sense of identity loss and That, [00:06:00] that sense of we don't know what to do, we don't know how to get out because we always thought we were good


we got promoted so we must be good, but this is now difficult, hard and all these sort of words.

As we go down that curve, I also include a little bit around anger. And at the top of the curve, as we see that threat, then we're angrier to the people for forcing us to change



has got

some big implications. But as we get down towards the bottom of it and the trough there, we start internalizing that anger and blaming ourselves for not being good enough.

Um, and then We get that inspiration, we hit rock bottom, we go potentially and start making little changes, making little acceptions, acceptances and then moving up to becoming in a healthier, more effective place


really I talk about three ways off the curve. The hostility is a, is really a concept by George Kelly, um, who created The philosophy of personal construct or the theory of personal construct and our hostilities where people fight hard to not change and the extreme and a lot of energy in doing the old systems, doing the old ways, proving you're an idiot for making them change.

Denial at the opposite end is absolutely no energy investment and the head in the sand, classic denial. And then I think one for me that, that sort of adds a lot of aha [00:08:00] insight in the one, um, that you've got in the middle there, I'm

off. And

that for me is where People leave because they're not prepared to compromise their values for the change that they see or want and they, um, If you're lucky they leave physically, if you're unlucky they leave mentally, and that's where we then get presenteeism, absenteeism, and all of those sort of impacts, or they just go and then label the organization toxic, and Part of that came from personal experience with a couple of companies that I walked away from because I didn't like the way they were moving and I didn't like what they were doing.

So I suppose in many ways that's the change curve in a nutshell. It's our individual emotional journey about the size and scale of impact. On me as a person,

Jan Terkelsen: Brilliant. And a lot of people, you know, I imagine, don't even have that awareness of what they are actually moving through, you know, like a lot of people have a range of, you know, happy, sad, glad, mad, whereas there are so many other underlying, um, issues that are coming up for them because they're, they're put in a position where, like you mentioned, their identity has to change, or their perspective has to broaden, and so that means For me, I have to become different.

John Fisher: yeah, and of course we can resist that and we, uh, it can be lots of things as well that are really small to some people but are massive to other people,


back in the days of organizations giving managers [00:10:00] company cars, A lot of people paid a lot of attention to the fact that they had a company car and I've known people who lost money by being promoted because they were on high overtime and as a manager didn't get overtime


were expected

to work

more hours but they had a company car in the drive and that was part of that.

sort of sense of ego, sense of who they were and if things change or if everybody in the company then gets a company car it leaves them a little bit lost potentially with I've worked hard, I've done this, I've done that, I've sacrificed these and now everybody's got a car on a car scheme. What does that make me?


an idiot am I type of thing and why didn't I see this coming? I should have known it was coming.


there's lots of under the radars and one of the little models that I started using that I sort of put together just to help me make sense was a four box model with the, um, with the axes. Really, I've been here before, yes or no, and this is going to be good for me, yes or no.

So you end up with those four areas whereby you think it's going to turn out well, because it did last time. It may be the unknown, but you're still optimistic, or it may be known. and you're optimistic and the other side of the coin

you think

you're going to be shafted and you just don't know what to do where to go or how to do it or

You do know

what happened last time when you did get shafted and it [00:12:00] was bad and you just expect and anticipate the

same thing.

So that again mapped on with this helps me help people navigate through that process and structure of making sense of what they can do. I think it's fair to say this curve is linear. Um, in image, but of course, as I'm sure you guys have found out, it isn't linear in traveling through it, and people will go backwards, forwards, up, down, will jump from one side to the other, and I've sometimes had people walking across the valley, um, to the Then work out what life's like on the other side.

How have they got across the valley? What sort of things do they need to do, um, and how do they get over there to give them those insights and to start that, um, conversation.

Michelle Terkelsen: what's really

interesting about this curve is that it is such an individual journey, but it's done in a collective environment, which is how we all work now.

And so

You know, how have you found that, John? Like, getting people to think about their own individual journey as opposed to us as a, well, actually you could say us as a team are going through this journey as well, but how transparent and honest do you find people in that sort of collective environment sharing the sort of inner emotional, like, you know, um, issues that they're going through?

John Fisher: Yeah, really good question that Michelle and


few things sort

of come

to mind, but.

One of the things I think, one of the things I think for me that helps bring this to life a little bit is that if I May turn the tables round on you two [00:14:00] guys, um, your twins, but live in very different parts of Australia, have some very much shared experiences, but the filter you look at them through is now very different, because your environment, the context is very different as well, so it's almost like the circles that overlap, you've got some shared content, you've got some shared content.

that's then got around it some very different contexts and everything. So every journey, even with identical twins, is very different because you've been treated differently, you've moved in some directions, so you interpret everything in a different way. That has a lot of overlaps and has some subtle differences and even this conversation you're both interpreting this based on how you've seen your use of the curve, how you think it could be used

and potentially

you're both going off on different tangents now about what do we do in the future, do we integrate that Four box model I just talked about, what do we do to play with it, and how do we play with it?

And I can see Jan there with her head nodding, that's resonating with you Jan.

Jan Terkelsen: Oh,


absolutely. Like,


everything that you said, John, and I think, you know, if I was to, uh, You know, reflect on what has allowed Michelle and I to stay a co, uh, a cohesive team. is communication.

John Fisher: fundamental,

Jan Terkelsen: yeah, really clear expectations. You know, what do you expect of me and what do I expect of you and how do we then bridge that? Yeah.

John Fisher: and that's [00:16:00] part of the bigger answer to Michelle's

really nice question. Um, I also sort of put together again, just to help me, a past, present and future little filter


Thank you. I sort of talk about, you've effectively got to close the past off, but as part of that closing the past, you've got to celebrate the successes, so look at what, look at what worked in the past, what was good, but also look at the argument for change and the burning platform and why do you need to change as part and parcel of that, because if you don't do that well, you'll have to People over coffees, over the water coolers.

Um, having a conversations about this used to be really good. I used to like X, Y, and Z. And that's where we fringe into the hostility, of course, because that's where people say.

The Sodhita I'm going to continue as I've always done because that was good. I enjoyed X, Y, Z. Um, you've also then though got to create a really vibrant, vivid future where people understand what they'll be doing and saying, where they'll be doing and saying

it and who

they'll be doing it and saying it with, and create that future.


of goal.


then you can do the, the route map. You can then do the present in how do I get there? What does, uh, what do I have to do to get to that really vibrant goal? If you don't have a goal, you'll have people who are constantly on the treadmill, a bit like the hamsters, moving forwards, but not knowing when the end is, not knowing when they've got there.

So, That's where you can start getting change fatigue coming into the equation because [00:18:00] they just think this will never end. This is always going on and on and on. And then with that route map, if you don't give a route map, one of the exercises I've regularly done on leadership courses is ask everybody to


their eyes and point in a direction, point East, and then get them still pointing to open their eyes and they're all pointing all over the place and talk about there.

If we don't have a clear, uh,

strategy plan, um, an understanding of steps to take, that's the outcome. We go like headless chickens all over the place and there's just no focus. As part and parcel of it. So,


me, both as a group and on one to ones where I've used this, it's about that conversation then, it's about allowing them to say what worked really well, what they're angry about losing, what they're losing.

what their frustrations are, to then allow the change agent to use the me's to have that conversation about how can you make it work, then what do you need to do, what's the best way that you can do it, and how will you manage that. Your own feelings, your own emotions, what do you need to put in place, and I suppose crucially, who's your support? Does that answer the question, Michelle? Long winded, but,

Michelle Terkelsen: very fulsome Thanks, John. Which, and now my brain is starting ticking, and I mean, you know, how fortunate for people to have you there with them as they go

John Fisher: Or you.

Michelle Terkelsen: So, or us, yes. Um, but, you know, here I am, a manager, I've got, you know, a staff of 20, I don't have a budget to get a consultant in, what would [00:20:00] I be doing to take advantage and use this this fantastic model to,


know, to to help and support my people and myself, because I'm going through

this change

curve as well.

John Fisher: And picking up on that last piece that there's a fascinating issue around that I'm going through the change curve. I suppose to answer your question before I turn the tables and ask you guys a question, um, I I sort of use it as a focus, so you hear, what do you think, and if I'm using this in a similar way to you, but I regularly actually use them physically standing on it, I get them to own where they are, rather than hide where they are, how do you feel there, what do you think there, um, And I then get them sort of encourage that communication between and across the curve.

So a manager can use the curve one on one as a focal point, where do you think you are. If the manager, if the team isn't quite as trusting, is in darker waters, then do it in a similar way to you and then talk about how would people feel at those slots and in those places. And this is where I'll throw it back at you guys, so you have told me about, a little bit about you, how you use it, do you want to tell me a bit more, and your listeners, about the great work that you're doing with it, and then I'll come back and answer a bit more of your question, Michelle.

Michelle Terkelsen: Do you want me to go first, Jan? Well, we, when COVID hit, We had a full, you know, we had so [00:22:00] much work, you know, face to face, and then all of a sudden, within a week, it went.

Disappeared. And We,

a client,

um, I think approached us and said, Oh, could you do something on change because people are freaking out, blah, blah, blah. Guess where we went to? We went to this curve. And how we introduced it is we introduced the, the background to the curve and just stepped people through potentially, you know, what is happening at each of these stages.

And then we got them just to reflect, very similar to you, on, you know, where do you think you're at right now? And what does that feel like? What does anxiety look like? and then we just went through that. And then when we were face to face, we got people with their little Yellow stickies to actually

just put


yellow sticky on where they thought they were on the change curve and where they, you know, wanted to get to and just sort of, you know, use that as a discussion point.


John Fisher: Yeah.

Michelle Terkelsen: Jen, what else did we do?

Jan Terkelsen: I was telling

John before we came on is that I

was working

with the team and there was a low level of trust and so this is the reason why I use the anonymity and so on a whiteboard I drew the change curve with, you know, key points on it and gave everyone a little dot and then I turned the board around and then I got people individually just to walk behind the board and put a dot for where they were.

And then after everyone had

walked around.

Thank you.

past and put their dot on, I revealed where the different dots were along the curve and yeah, people were all spread out. There was a clump in a certain area, but then we again had a bit of a debrief. So, what would we be experiencing, what behaviors would we be seeing, what communication would we be hearing?

Because, you know, the change curve is really about your performance over time and we want to get to a state where people are high performing or at least [00:24:00] performing effectively and contributing and um, I think, you know, just having, a focused, like a model, that people can focus on, so they're not focusing on them, they're focusing on the model.

It is, is such a, um, yeah, a smart way of having those meaningful conversations for people.

John Fisher: definitely. Thank you. And all the things I've done in, in ways similar to, to the way it sounds like you are then doing the debrief is given people a post-it. For them to write one or two words on about how they feel at the, wherever the place their dot.

and then

get talking about the different words and you'll find different words at different places, different words at the same.

So you'll get a real mix usually with teams around that word

they're experiencing

at that point that can also then stimulate those discussions about. So how do you interpret that? What does that mean for you? And just saying to Jan before you came on, Michelle, I've also had people walking across it. So and physically walking from one side to the other doing a bit of time lining really to look at making the depression, the trough as shallow as possible to just help them.

I've also got them to think about people at different ends of that. So when I've had them standing, when you've got the dots, it's how do you think people are thinking there? What, Do you think? What do you do?

And I

then link that into the leader and say, okay, so you're a leader. Think about where you are.

Look at where your team is, which may be opposite ends of the, of the, um, [00:26:00] DesignWave. What does that mean? What's the implications for you managing when you're really in a positive place and they're not? Or you're not in a positive place but they really are? How do you manage that wherever you are on the curve?

And get them to start talking about the implications and impact on themselves for where they are. as part of this and,


suppose bits of it goes back to Lencioni's vulnerable leadership because there's still a lot of stiff upper lip in leadership and there's still a myth that they've got to be strong and not show any emotion.

Luckily we're cutting through that a lot


there's still that I've got to be strong for the team and I've got to carry on you Uh, and Shoulder It All, when The far better off not and just being human.

Jan Terkelsen: So if we're thinking about, um, change, so I'm thinking about an organization I'm working with at the moment, and they've done some structural change, and the leaders are on board, because they've had months and months of emails and communication, and, and now their people have to catch up.

And I find that that, that is a real, um, issue or obstacle for successful change.

John Fisher: Yeah, totally.

Jan Terkelsen: yeah, in your experience, John, what do you think is like some key barriers to effective change?

John Fisher: Well, I think that's one of the key barriers, to be

honest, Jan,

the fact that they've started in totally the wrong place and expecting the people who have to change um, to sit in the darkness, be fed mushrooms, as I'm sure you know the expression, kept in the dark and fed on. Um, and, Then expect them to change and expect them to [00:28:00] find it good when they've been going what's happening, what's going on, will we cope and potentially their teams are all on that left hand side and I'm a big fan of quotes and there's a quote I usually put on the wall with every one of my face to face leadership courses that says leadership is what you lack when I don't know what to do.

For And I just love that quote. So all they can do then, because it's too late in many ways for that change to be healthy, is to start engaging with them and almost go back themselves to stage one. So they engage with the team, talk to the team, let them vent, let them be angry, let them celebrate the positives of the old system Almost start afresh

because it's

no good doing the teams in isolation.

You need to do them together. And yes, you need to get the top team engaged and involved, but that can happen half a step ahead, not when they're ready to launch it. Um, and I think bitter experience as, as, has taught me that. I was in one organization where they adopted Total Quality Management and the director came in and said we're all going to adopt Total Quality Management as a discipline, as

a philosophy.

Here's the book. We're all bought in. Go away and do it. And it

bombed. I left that organization,

um, and joined another one. And sort of six months later, I suddenly had a massive deja vu feeling when the director walked in and said we're adopting total quality


uh, here's the manual, go [00:30:00] away and do it, and it bombed.

And when I was, uh, looking into it, because while I taught quality management,

I thought it was

a really nice system

that worked

really well. And when I looked into it, virtually every organization that had deployed it as the two I'd been in had deployed it, it bombed. And every organization that came in at middle management and deployed it, it really, really worked well because middle management is the key fulcrum that can influence upwards and downwards and make sure it happens.

Um, so that really was an eye opening lesson on the reflection back on just why it had failed.

Michelle Terkelsen: I

know people talk about, you know, resistance to change, you know, how can we you know, overcome people's resistance to change, and it's almost like, um,


I'm just trying to, I'm trying to think about this notion of, you know, you know, what can I do as a manager?

Because Jen and I are always, always thinking about, here I am as a manager, what can I do to support my people, given that, you know, I may not have a lot of resources. So when this happens, so it is, what I have heard you say, is, you know, be, you know, half a step ahead of your team. Yeah. Now, let's say that as a manager, um, you've been mandated, you do not say anything to anybody, this is top secret, blah, blah, blah, and then all of a sudden, you know, we're going to roll out the change.

What are some ways what are some ways

that managers

can still maintain that trust with their team

and, and try and support them through this and, you know,

overcome this thing called resistance?

John Fisher: yeah, definitely, and had an experience that has influenced [00:32:00] me on that. Organization I work for,

we're recruiting a COO.

To be between the CEO and

the Directors, the Board of Directors,


of the Board had applied for the COO role, as well as people externally, and, um,

I was

involved in the recruitment process at the time, doing some of the profiling work with the recruitment team, so I had a quite a clear understanding knowledge of what was going on, the people involved and everything.


this was really hush hush. This was top secret. Everybody knew something was going on, and everybody was aware something, because people are, they're not stupid. They all knew, and they all invented their own understanding idea of what was going on.


I was running a Leadership Development Course with some external people on

it that

had been sold the course as well as some internal people that were on it for development and one of the internal people Asked me what was going on and basically said, John, I know you know what's going on, so what's going on?


I was then in that clef stick because obviously this was really sensitive information that was there. So I decided to be honest and I said, um, or as honest as I could be, is the


I said, there is a lot going on. Personally, I think it's really exciting, but at the moment it's still a really fluid situation and anything I tell you today may be wrong tomorrow and there's some commercially sensitive things happening that [00:34:00] we can't talk about, especially in India.

an open forum so all I can say is I think it's really good I think it's a positive move and you'll soon know what it is but I can't tell you at this moment in time and I was talking to them a bit later at a break obviously being internal I knew them they knew me and I sort of said what would you've done if I'd have said I didn't know and they said I wouldn't have believed Uh, you know, because I just knew you knew type of thing, which then set me thinking again, not only would they have not believed me, they'd have told the people externally that they were sitting next to, that I was lying, and my credibility then would have gone straight out of the window.


The answer


a bit one of those piece of string answers, it's be as honest as you can without telling them what you can't.

Jan Terkelsen: mm

I love

John Fisher: make

sense, Michelle?

Michelle Terkelsen: Oh,



Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, I like that.

John Fisher: One thing you guys might find useful as well that I love in, in,


I do change, I


to do it all the time. It's a little model a guy called Finn Schuette came up with that he calls the ABC model for no reason whatsoever apart from the three stages to it.

the A, yeah,


A is basically, um, the situation now and the future desired state.


B then is all the negatives of the now. And all the positives of the desired state, and then what Finn did that I think is genius, was he said, okay, that's all well and good, but [00:36:00] what are the positives of the now? And what are the negatives of the desired state? And then I get them brainstorming answers in those B and C boxes, all four of them.

And if the C line is stronger than the B line, People won't change because they're losing more than they're gaining. I've had them giving a score to each of the statements that they put in the boxes and then you can start managing that resistance to change and you can start working out how do you overcome some of the negatives of changing. Um, yeah, lovely little model.

Michelle Terkelsen: Oh yeah, I mean it's, it's brilliant in its simplicity and what I like about it is that you're actually gathering data, yeah,

and then,

and then you're doing something with that data and you can't argue with the data. I love it.

John Fisher: I've had people, um, I've had people be in turkeys voting for Christmas through doing that type of exercise

and really

can be eye opening

Especially if

the organization is going through organizational change as well because for me that's also what a manager can do on a one to one or a one to team is take them through that little model.

And get them to then start discussing and thinking about how do we work it. I now know these are going to be the objections. What do I need to do to get around those objections? And the fundamental bit for me is communication, as you guys have said. Talk to your team, Brainstorm with them, bounce ideas with them, and you'll always get better engagement, even if you don't do their idea, they will still felt heard, so the psychology behind it is really powerful [00:38:00] and strong.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah.

And that's what I was gonna say, John. When people actually see their own words written up on the board, it's

like, okay,

that's my contribution. You know, I have been heard. I feel I've been understood. I have had a platform and a voice. And uh, I think that's really powerful. Yeah. Okay. Um, I love that model.

Thank you. Um. Taking lots of notes.

Michelle Terkelsen: good model, John.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, yeah,



John Fisher: am


Jan Terkelsen: simpatico. so Michelle, have you got a last question for John?

Michelle Terkelsen: I probably,

John has answered all the questions that I had firing in my brain through answering other questions actually and So, so I'm, I'm just thinking about all the changes. So so here's one actually that we're living through right now.

So a lot of our clients have, um, transitioned from, you know, going to work every day on that train to working from home. Now, you know, some companies have managed that really well and some organizations have not managed that well at all. And so, You know, in terms of, you know, using this change model to navigate that whole piece of work, you know, do you have any, um, you know, tips or ideas that you could share with us that we could share with our, you know, audience? um, you know, with our audience?

John Fisher: um. Really good question and really difficult. Um, I was a little bit lucky in I got some coaching when one organisation sent all its call centre home


then gave the managers coaching because they were suddenly working off the back kitchen table and in one instance when I was coaching somebody, we were [00:40:00] talking and,

uh, this

was a female which is relevant to


the only reason I'm mentioning it, and they mentioned they had a baby in arms.

And when I made a comment about where is it, they said, oh, it's with my mother at the moment, and turned the camera, the laptop, slightly round 30 degrees, and literally sitting behind them is their mother and their baby. And the mother's obviously listening to everything we're talking about. So, uh, interesting times.

And I suppose maybe that's one of

the things,

Get the organization to have coaches, mentors, supports, wherever they want.


I've found that you can never over communicate during times of change. So the more you communicate, the better. Might not work still, but the happier and the more engaged the workforce will be.

And no matter how much you think you're communicating, there's always more you can do. Um, and it's, as a leader,


have to engage more, especially the people who are quiet, because one of the things that, one of the myths, let's say that, um, COVID Busted through was the old philosophy used to be home workers, the best home workers are the introverts to use a very reductionist word because they like being on their own, they like working in their own, so they'll really get on well in working from home with nobody else around them and they found that was rubbish.

What the companies found was that the extroverts, who they thought would struggle, actually still thrive because they pick up the phone, [00:42:00] they get a Zoom call, they'd connect with people regularly to make sure they got their fix, whereas the people who were quieter, who, who Didn't do that, still didn't do that


nobody could see where they were struggling and nobody could see that, um, they had a question because nobody contacted them.

So I'd say for the managers, make sure you talk to everybody, um, regularly and make sure you talk to the people who won't reach out more often. Than you do and if a person who normally reaches out doesn't, get straight on to them, uh, that one. So ramp up your talking to the team, ramp up the team engagements, um, bring in regular team meetings as well as regular one to ones and do that far more often than you feel comfortable with as a team leader, just to make sure.

And the ones who don't need it will tell you to go away, And the ones who do need it will be really grateful, um, that somebody cares enough. So that's one thing. Um, I suppose the other thing is really around what we've, what we've been talking about already. Just making sure they understand the whys, the whiffum.

For me, one of the Two most powerful influences is WIFM, what's in it for me, and the other one is because give them a reason, identify why the change will, um, help them, identify what they need to get out of the change to make it work for them, and you do that by asking them. Kelly is quoted as saying, if you want to know what somebody's thinking, ask them, they might tell you. And it's [00:44:00] just love that sort of, that thought.

Michelle Terkelsen: Brilliant. Oh, I knew there was a reason we liked you so much.

John Fisher: Here you say that now, as soon as we've hung up, be spitting feathers.

Jan Terkelsen: No, I've

I've gained

so much out of this conversation, especially, like I really do like, you know, we call it a line in the sand, but I do like that idea of, you know, looking at the the past, the present and the future, and really looking at those, the benefits, as, you know, on either side


as a as A A really, um, way of engaging and getting, like you said, Michelle, data from people and it really does come down to communication.

Um, one of the things that we really recommend for anyone, whether you're a small to medium size enterprise, large organization, having regular and consistent one on ones. and that

Not just talking about

the task,

we're talking about the person, their development, are you delegating, you know, following up from the previous, you know, conversation, and I think, you know, that has created the biggest impact in organizations when they do that well.

John Fisher: Yeah,

And I think, um, on that one, when I've been dragged kicking and screaming into leading teams of people before I've managed to get out of it, I've held performance management and one to ones in local coffee shops as well. Let's go for a coffee, let's do it informally, because it doesn't need to be formal at all, uh, and there's something about the informality as well that puts people at ease a lot more and just helps.

Uh, build up that trust and that relationship. So, the less you talk shop directly,


better the relationship will usually be, because you'll [00:46:00] get an understanding of what makes them tick, and you'll get an understanding of some of their drivers, and,


where you differ.

Jan Terkelsen: And,

you know, understanding what motivates someone, then as a leader, where are you then helping them to, um, you know, share their gifts and talents, be able to, you know, authentically show up at work, and the more conversations

you have,

they will tell you, you know, they will get to know what's, available to them as well.


John Fisher: yeah. very

much so. I think trust is


much the most powerful of the,


helps and hinders of change.


they don't trust you because you've behaved in an untrustworthy way, then change will always fail

they're waiting for you to turn on them. Um, once had the pleasure of listening to Stephen Covey's son, Stephen Covey, talking about, I know it always amuses me that how creative a

man, and

then calls his son his same name.

It's just a


Michelle Terkelsen: yeah.

John Fisher: Yeah,

um, but he, he came out with again another quote that I use regularly on the wall when going through change, um, and leadership. You can't talk your way

back into

what you behaved your way out of, no matter how much you say to somebody trust me if you've behaved in an untrustworthy way, they won't, and I just think that's such a powerful little statement,

Jan Terkelsen: Brilliant. Yeah, we love Stephen Covey's 13 Trust Behaviours. Again, that's something that we often talk about in our development

as well.

So we are so on the same page, John. That has been wonderful, which I [00:48:00] knew it would be. Thank you so much for spending the time with us.

John Fisher: my pleasure guys, loved it,

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, yeah. And

John Fisher: always nice to find how other people do use the curve, because it's just got a life of its own.

Michelle Terkelsen: Oh yeah,


yeah, yeah,

Jan Terkelsen: And, And we've shared with people how they can use it as well. So on it goes, you know, you've created something that is going to live

Michelle Terkelsen: And, And yeah, it has stood the test of time in that, you know, here we, we have this thing called COVID that shook the world up and you know, it held its own.

The curve was just brilliant. It really did um, set the stage for us to help people through change.

So yeah, good on


John Fisher: Thank you, just pure chance, pure luck that it escaped,

Jan Terkelsen: Okay. All right. Thank you, John. It's been a real pleasure.

John Fisher: And

the pleasure is mutual. Thank you very much, Jan and Michelle.

Jan Terkelsen: Okay. Thanks, John.

Michelle Terkelsen: John. 

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